Nambucca Heads holds a special place in my heart having visited the quaint coastal town every year of my young life for family holidays.
From family walks along the V-Wall (and even painting our names), making shell necklaces threaded on fishing line, camping in a huge green canvas tent to fishing trips in our old tinnie where we returned home with an esky full of whiting, there was never a dull moment.
We fished in the river from my relatives' old jetty, went prawning at beach when there was no moon and spent our evenings frying fish and playing card games. It was well before electronics and kids spent their days swimming, exploring the rivers, fishing and learning how to shuck oysters.
The good news is very little has changed in this coastal hamlet since my childhood - maybe a few more houses and an increased population - but the natural beauty of the area is unchanged and there are still plenty of memories to make for yourself.
The Nambucca River
The jewel in Nambucca's crown has to be the river which is renowned for its natural beauty and ease of access.
There are a range of activities visitors can enjoy on the river including boating, fi shing, kayaking, paddle boarding, water skiing or just swimming in the subtropical waters.
River tours are also available for those not keen on boating themselves. You will be amazed at how blue and clear the water is in this river system.
Nambucca has a number of picture-perfect beaches but one of my favourites has always been the somewhat secluded Shelly Beach.
Located down the hill from the town, the beach was ranked number 8 in a 2016 list of the best beaches in Australia so not such a secret anymore.
No visit to Nambucca would be complete without a walk along the V-Wall.
Located next to the river mouth the wall is famous for its creative graffiti and has become a significant tourist attraction. It is fascinating to read people's messages and holiday memories and everybody is welcome to paint their own rock.
Captain Cook Lookout
Of the area's best viewpoints, the Captain Cook Lookout, set on a high bluff, is a great place to view the coastal panoramas and look for whales in the migration season. A road here leads down to the tide pools of Shelly Beach.
The Nambucca shire is rich in history that is well worth exploring. The Headland Historical Museum is packed full of local artefacts and memorabilia.
History buffs will also enjoy a visit to Bowraville Folk Museum Inc with its many thousands of interesting historical objects and displays.
Eat, shop, drink
When you get sick of thinking of ways to cook those fish, there is no end of choice when it comes to dining in Nambucca.
From riverside eateries to pubs and clubs the area has come a long way in the dining stakes from our visits in the 80s when the culinary highlight was the curried prawns at the bowling club smorgasboard.
The main street is dotted with unique clothing boutiques and cafes where you can while away the day chatting to locals and checking out the real estate.
There is nothing pretentious about Nambucca Heads. It just offers visitors an affordable and authentic taste of Aussie coastal life. And like our family, it will most likely become a place you visit time and time again.